How stakeholder listening can make you more efficient

So, here we are in November with the year’s penultimate edition of ‘The Happy Client’! This month, I continue to explore the benefits of wider stakeholder listening with a special focus on how it can help drive efficiency in your business.

Effective stakeholder listening fosters a culture of open communication and collaboration across your business. It breaks down silos and encourages more integration across teams. Listening to your stakeholders and identifying pain points or opportunities to improve, leads to teams working together to solve issues across departments. This not only makes for more innovative solutions but has the additional benefit of boosting morale and fostering a greater sense of community across your organisation.

Happy team, happy business

Happy teams are more productive, more likely to provide a better service to your clients and more stable – choosing to stay with your business. All of these factors contribute to improving organisational efficiency. In addition, the sort of regular internal and external feedback loops that stakeholder listening brings, enables continuous improvement in processes and services within each department.

Acquisition costs more than retention

After all (and I’ve said it before and will say it again!) it’s far more efficient and cost effective to keep the suppliers, clients and staff you have, than to constantly be trying to find new ones. Listening to those stakeholders, surfacing issues and dealing with them promptly will improve your retention across all areas, and have the knock-on effect of attracting others to your side with minimal marketing outlay. Positive word of mouth is by far the most powerful and cost-efficient marketing and sales tool there is!

Drive improvement across the board

Stakeholder listening can also drive performance improvement across the teams that make up the individual departments of your organisation such as HR, IT, procurement, customer service and finance. In my experience, most feedback from stakeholders (whether it’s positive or constructive) falls into three categories – behaviours, systems and processes. For example, a client might be really happy with the behaviours exhibited by your team (responsiveness, proactivity, commercial nous) while being frustrated by the process that’s used to record time and the way your billing system sends invoices. Making sure all elements of this insight are shared and acted on internally across all the relevant departments will make a big difference.

All in all, listening to your stakeholders leads to better informed decision-making, increased stakeholder satisfaction and improved performance across your business. It helps you to stay agile, responsive and aligned with the evolving needs of the people who matter most to your organisation – your internal and external stakeholders.

As ever, please do get in touch if you’d like to find out how I can help you uncover valuable insight from your stakeholders.

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